“जेंडर वो हैं, जो हमें समाज देता हैं और हम पर थोपता भी हैं , पर सेक्स हमे प्रकृति के द्वारा मिलता हैं | - Ayesha a 9th Standard student at GGSSS.
A Gender Relay was conducted on the basic understanding of gender and sex of students, at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Kakrola (Dwarka, New Delhi) for close to 80 adolescent girls. During this session, the participants were asked to share their views on gender. “Girls should not stay outside late at night, good girls come home early. However, it is ok for boys to stay outside late at night”, was a common perception. The session was held with the objective of deconstructing such myths and know the difference between sex and gender.
Undoubtedly, these responses were fabricated with a socially constructed definition of gender. Participants described boys as pretentious, dishonest and negligent. Their perceptions of boys varied from them being good friends to being a bully. Few talked about the privileges enjoyed by boys and their appearances. This description from the participants was what society has ingrained in our minds and therefore, accepted as popular norms and practices.
Similarly, the girls were described according to the societal norms by the participants too. They expressed girls to be timid, beautiful, nurturing and sensitive. Participants also discussed the restrictions imposed on girls by their parents, peers, and society. These views were also based on the socialization process, and cultural norms and practices. Society plays a major role in shaping thoughts on the way a girl or a boy should behave, their appearances and their role in society.
However, after the stimulation, they realized the need to alter their perception of girls and boys because not every boy is dishonest or a bully but respect girls. They further discussed that sex is biological but gender is socially constructed and it defines our position in society. Gender restricts the mobility and freedom of a person and sometimes it overburdens a person with responsibilities set by society.
“We are judged by our gender, no matter how hard we try, we are pushed back by the society because all the work is divided into girl's work or boy's work. Where is the work which has no gender? - Sushmita, a 9th Standard student at GGSSS.